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Inside the purchase decision: Why do lost shoppers end up choosing your competitor?

by Larisa Vircavs , 04.11.2020

Demystify your lost shoppers by understanding who they are, why they chose another brand or retailer, and how to win them back in the future.

Being a mind reader would make life a lot easier. Just imagine knowing what was going through someone’s head in the days, weeks, or – in some cases – months leading up to a purchasing decision. What was the process that drove that one consumer in Italy to buy that particular laptop from that particular online retailer at that particular time? How did that one family in Germany decide on that one washing machine over all the others? Knowing answers like these would save a lot of time, effort, and mental anguish. And it certainly would help guarantee that your business strategies would be successful.

Unfortunately, you’re not a mind reader. Yet you’re often tasked with understanding your customers and potential customers based on insights and sales data – finding the data, filtering out the irrelevant, and then making sense of it all. Who are your customers and prospects? Which brands do they love? What do they buy? How much do they spend and where? This can get complicated quickly, particularly when you’re trying to understand potential or lost customers.

Consider this: in the first half of 2020, 48% of laptop shoppers in Great Britain researched products online. During their research phase, they primarily visited retailer websites (61%) and product review websites (47%). They did their research quickly – 43% bought a product on the same day or within a few days.

With this information, you can look back at your sales figures to better understand your market share. You might also consider optimizing your presence online to encourage future customers to buy your products while they are still in the research phase. But to really grow your market share, you need to know more about the people who didn’t select your brand or buy from your store.

How are you supposed to understand those lost shoppers? Those that consider your products but don’t convert. Knowing who they are, who they ultimately buy from and, with so many options available to them, why they chose to purchase that product or purchase from that retailer. That kind of knowledge could be really powerful.

We can help you get it.

Let’s look at a different scenario. Imagine you’re a German TV manufacturer. You know from the Consumer Insights Engine that shoppers are considering your brand, but you’re not ranking in the top three in terms of market share.

You can drill down into the detail of those lost shoppers – the number of people you lost, their profiles, the brands they chose instead, and what cemented those decisions. You might see that, although 68% of shoppers considered your brand in a given quarter, only 31% went on to buy your TVs, so you lost 55% of your target or around 1.1 million units.

That’s not good.

You drill down further still to find out that these lost shoppers are mostly singles and childless couples who are heavily influenced by the prices and product features of other brands, in particular their display quality.


This allows you to work with your product, marketing, and sales teams to plug any gaps in your own portfolio, to better promote the features that matter most, and to develop a better pricing strategy that rivals your competitor.

Likewise, if you’re a retailer, you can understand the shoppers who researched a product with you online or in-store, or a combination of both, but ultimately didn’t buy from you. You might spot that, despite 2020 being a huge year for online shopping, that’s where you missed most opportunities – even more than in store, where footfall has taken such a hit.

Again, not good. But, we’ll help you get to the root of the problem so that you can quickly fix it.


You identify prices, promotions, and stock availability pushed people – particularly Baby Boomers – into the arms of your rivals. So, you look further into that segment and how they shop to create a more appealing experience and product catalogue for them.

These types of insights help you quickly and easily access the right information, cutting through the noise to get to the heart of consumer – and future customer - needs and behaviors. It allows you to identify trends and changes to keep you ahead of the game. Refining and tailoring products where needed to convert browsing into sales, wherever it happens.

Whether you’re a brand or the retailer that stocks them, you can explore and understand the lost shopper opportunity, identifying who you’re losing to and why. You can then take the steps needed to anticipate and avoid such missed opportunities in future. It’s kind of like being a mind reader, but even more powerful and with real revenue potential.

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